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Draw Your Own Line

April 20, 2018

Craig Ballantyne recently published this —

In his book, “Lone Survivor,” former United States Navy SEAL Marcus Luttrell tells the story of how he nearly died after being ambushed in the unforgiving Afghanistan wilderness.

The other members of his SEAL team were all dead. Luttrell was unable to walk after almost being blown to pieces. He knew the only way to freedom was to crawl.

At a crucial moment, Luttrell made a decision. He was not going to die. He packed his wounds full of mud, grabbed a rock, and drew a line in the dirt. Then he told himself, “Marcus, all you have to do is crawl to that line.” And he did. Then he drew another line in the dirt. And he crawled to it.

Over and over again, with resilience and resourcefulness, Luttrell crawled his way to safety, to freedom, and to recovery.

He did it for his team—and as a commitment to himself. He knew, even when he was on the verge of death, that he was capable of so much more.

He didn’t get down.

He didn’t say, “This is hopeless.”

He didn’t make excuses.

He didn’t wish away reality.

Instead, he dug deep.

He believed in himself …

… and drew a line. And another. And another.

He did the work.

His action beat his anxiety.

His resilience, resourcefulness, and relentlessness allowed him to find his freedom.

If he can do that, then we can do this.

Now I don’t know what your “this” is…

For most of us, it is simply the struggles we’re up against today.

But I know that you’ve done something much harder in the past.

You’ve accomplished big things in the face of incredible adversity.

Maybe you’ve run a marathon, stuck to a diet and lost 20 pounds, quit smoking, got your spouse back after a bad break-up, raised great children despite tough circumstances, survived a bankruptcy, or overcome an illness.

The point is that you’ve overcome great adversity before and you’re going to do it again.

Marcus is the kind of inspiration that pushes us to overcome these adversities. But let me tell you about some of my other inspirations—the ones who keep me going despite the odds—so that you, too, can be inspired to face your challenges head-on.

— St. Paul reminds us that we “can do all things through Christ who strengthens” us. (Philippians 4:13)

And he’s serious.

Where will you draw your own line today?




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  1. Michael Sanders permalink

    Good day to get this…but isn’t that always the way?


  2. Indeed, by the grace of God, it is!


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